supramolecular catalysis (rus. супрамолекулярный катализ) — changes in the rate of reaction where the very catalyst or the transition state are the supramolecular assemblies.


Creating highly effective and selective catalysts is one of the goals of supramolecular chemistry. In supramolecular catalysis reactions, a supramolecular particle can be both the very catalyst and its complex with the substrate (transition state).

Supramolecular catalysis involves two basic stages: substrate (reactant) binding into a complex with the catalyst and substrate conversion into the products within the complex, followed by catalyst separation. For both stages molecular recognition as the geometric correspondence between the structures of the catalyst, the substrate and the product is needed. It can be achieved by means of supramolecular chemistry. The energetic factor plays an important role also. Strong interactions between the catalyst receptor sites and the substrate should be considered.

If the catalyst itself becomes the product of the reaction, then the system is capable of reproduction, in other words, it looks like a synthetic analogue of DNA.

An example of natural supramolecular catalysis is enzymatic catalysis. A simple example of a synthetic supramolecular catalyst is a macrocycle [24]-N6O2 (Fig.), which significantly accelerates ATP hydrolysis into ADP and phosphate and is therefore analogous to the ATPase enzyme.


Macrocycle [24]-N
Macrocycle [24]-N6O2


  • Eremin Vadim V.


  1. Lehn J.-M. Supramolecular Chemistry: Concepts and Perspectives. - Morrisville, NC: Wiley-VCH, 1995. - 271 pp.
  2. Steed J. W., Atwood J. L. Supramolecular Chemistry. 2nd Ed. — J. Wiley & Sons: Chichester, 2009. — 745 pp.

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